Background/Aim: The management of esophageal perforations remains controversial in large part due to variability in etiology, time of presentation, location, and underlying esophageal disease. We reviewed our experience in treating patients with esophageal perforations and evaluated the etiology, management and outcome of intervention in a tertiary center. Methods: Between 1999 and 2007, 48 patients with esophageal perforation were treated in a tertiary referral center in southern India. Postdilatation corrosive stricture perforations constituted the major etiology. Results: Thirty (62.5%) patients were diagnosed early (<24 h) and the remaining 18 (37.5%) were late (>24 h). The 30-day mortality was 6.2%, and mean hospital stay was 13 ± 9.3 days. Comparing outcomes between early and late groups, statistically significant difference was observed, with increased mortality (p = 0.02) and hospital stay (p = 0.04) following late diagnosis. Conclusion: This report suggests that early diagnosis decreases mortality and hospital stay in esophageal perforation. Preservation of esophagus may be attempted while treating esophageal perforations.

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